I am a sixty-five year old London taxi driver who wrote a book in 2012 that is now under its third consecutive years paid option to become a $30,000,000 film.
Six years earlier in 2006 I had a road traffic accident that left me unable to work effectively for almost four years. I was diagnosed as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and as a consequence; scared stiff to drive!
I believe that my whole experience could be inspirational to others who have, or, are, suffering a stress related illness and a way of relating how life can change for the better even in those most darkest of days.
The opportunity of my novel becoming a film was never of supreme importance to me when I wrote it, although it is every writers dream. It was simply because I had found a divergence from real life. That initial necessity has since developed into a love of that art.
THE BOOK: THE DESOLATE GARDEN
The story is centred on one family, the Earls of Harrogate, who since the fourteenth century have been the sole custodians of a secret and surreptitious bank in London’s Queen Anne’s Gate, affectionately known as Annies.
In 2007 Lord Elliot Patterson takes over the running of the bank from his father and decides to upgrade the old ledgers into digital format.
He discovers, in a hidden away 1937 ledger, a huge sum of money beginning to disappear. There is an address in Leningrad, Russia, appended in a margin along with two sets of initials. He suspects that his grandfather, Lord Maudlin Paterson, may have been funding a Russian spy!
Fearful of the disgrace this would cause, Elliot telephones his estranged eldest son, Harry, and tells of his suspicions.
Six months later Lord Elliot is found shot dead in the family’s London town house.
Harry, who on leaving the Army had been recruited in the Secret Intelligence Services, is recalled from the estate in Yorkshire to throw any light he may have on his father’s murder. He seemingly mets by accident an attractive woman in Duke’s Hotel, St James’s, whom he believes to be on the ‘pick up.’
However, she, Judith Meadows, works for the Home Office and knows more about his family than Harry does.
The story is told through the dialogue of the developing rubber band relationship the two have, whereby Harry doesn’t want to tell Judith of his farther’s suspicions, and Judith won’t divulge the full extent of her knowledge to Harry. Until at last they must come together to find whether or not there is a Russian spy, and who murdered Lord Elliot.
My journey has been one of differing sensations. The excitement of being a published writer, with the twenty odd Waterstones book signings and a recent appearance on ITV news at 6pm, set against the constant threat of losing our home.
In order to live through that time off work, caused by the accident, I incurred a mortgage excess of some £80,000 which the bank has now asked to be repaid. I received virtually no compensation for that event.
The only way my wife and I have to rectify this situation is to sell our home, a process we are going through now. We will not be in a position to buy another home!
That journey however, would never have begun without that first dramatic life changing event which I and my family lived through. Another is about to happen, and that too will be overcome.
Thank you for reading this.